Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

State of the Blog

Posted by Chris on September 28, 2007

First, apologies for any vague-ness. I have been rightly accused of being vague many times in life. I promise that little anecdotal blogs, rather than substance, is for good reason. I will start talking more about the “work”, as in my micro-credit project, next week. I have something I’ll be writing out by Monday to give to the director of the place I’m staying. Same goes for describing this NGO where I’m staying—it’s an amazing organization, but I want to be able to more fully explain it, and how that will affect me—and I honestly don’t have that full understanding yet. And I will even try to be slightly personal too.

I am glad I decided to blog on this trip. I’m discovering several fruit being born from it, just for me personally. I think it provides the façade of an audience. That is not to say that no one is reading it, but, even if no one was reading it, there’s a psychological effect when you know you are publishing something on to the internet. I had a blog (not on this page, which I just created, but a couple other places I tried out) over a year ago, and rarely a soul saw it. It was helpful then for the same reasons.

A blog “feels” different from a diary—not that I have one. It has more of a long-term perspective and maturity I feel. Not calling those of you with a diary immature, but in the literal sense—I’m letting my thoughts “age” a bit.

Practically, I’ve realized 4 fruits that blogging produce for me.

1. More objectivity, less subjectivity. Knowing that someone could read it, I do not want to misrepresent, or unfairly criticize, any person or group. I’ll be more willing to go there after I’m back in the States, or in an email. So to a certain extent, I’m not providing my opinion so much as observations that are shaped by my worldview, and I think that’s different.
2. Similarly, being more positive. My organizational behavior class taught me oen good thing that I think I’ll always remember—stick a PIN in it. P-Positive, I-Interesting, N-Negative. Critique in that order. The human modus operandi is NIP. That’s what I do first in my head. Furthermore, I remember negatives much better than positives. I don’t really need to chronicle some bad things, because they are seared onto my conscience/memory (like, how is it so hard to erase recollection of EXACTLY how an awkward moment felt—it feels awkward just thinking about it; I hate that). So blogging helps to sort through this.
3. Following that, it aids me in thinking critically. By blogging, I give my brain time to reflect on anthropological, theological or ethical frameworks that I have acquired and apply them to the experience. Upon leaving college, I was concerned about anthropology—would it ever make a difference? Would I have to periodically read anthropology books to keep up some kind of working knowledge? So it’s nice to feel anthropological and blogging helps with that. For some of you other recent grads, maybe you need to consciously make the effort. I find that just by starting to write or formulate ideas, the education and studying kicks in on the subconscious level.
4. This effort, through my worldview and academic disciplines, finally brings unity by sorting through separate experiences and helping to integrate them. It helps turn individual events and people and experiences into what Kris Norris or Mark Driscoll would call a “metanarrative” (Kris, if he knew, would just love that comparison). That’s just a word that divinity school students instead of the phrase “the big picture.” And the sum can be greater than the parts. My “big picture” here is but a poor and veiled representation of the true Kolkata/India/whatever you’re referring to, but it is a sufficiently vast and foreign concept to those of us that grew up in America.

I have a backlog of things I’d like to blog on—some are waiting on me to get to them, some on time to pass and things to happen. Because of the aforementioned benefits, I feel justified in using time this way and in fact considering it “work.”

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